Top 10 Online Bachelor in Computer Science Degrees

best online bachelor in computer science undergrad program

Computer science is a field that more and more industries depend on. Code is the language of information, and it’s the key to solving countless real-world problems and creating powerful digital tools people can actually use.

You don’t have to move across the country to learn how to code. There are countless online computer science degree programs that can land you the credentials and expertise you need to start your career. To help you sort through them, we’ve used data from The National Center for Education Statistics and ratings from school-ranking entities like,,, U.S. News & World Report,,, and—so this list of the top 10 online bachelor’s in computer science programs is the best of the best.

To help you make the choice that’s right for you, we’ll show you each school’s:

  • Tuition cost
  • Program length
  • Graduation rates
  • Awards and accolades
  • Accreditation
  • Anything else we think will help you decide

Let’s find a school you’ll love! For starters, here are some highlights:

Most affordable

Unless you’re drowning in scholarships right now, chances are the cost of your education matters to you. Most of these schools are pretty affordable, but a couple of them stand out.

If you happen to live in Florida, you can get a great education in computer science for around $3,000 per year from the University of Florida (#2 on our list). Regardless of where you live, you can get an online education from Brigham Young University-Idaho (#8) for around $4,000 per year.

Best job placement rate

If you can’t get a job right out of college, it can be hard to justify spending thousands of dollars on an education. Any of these schools can give you the knowledge you need to enter the field of computer science, but one school is notably better at actually helping their students make that transition.

Dakota State University (#7) has a 92% job placement rate for graduates of their BS in computer science program.

Best graduation rate

You can start playing with the skills you’ll learn from your BS in computer science right away, and many employers are more interested in what you can actually do than whether or not you have a degree. But if you start investing in an education, you probably want to actually finish it. A degree can make you eligible for new positions.

If earning a degree is your top concern, then look no further than #2 on our list, the University of Florida. With a graduation rate of 87%, odds are you’ll walk away with the credentials you want.

Now, on to the top ten!

1. Oregon State University

Image source: Oregon State University

Tuition cost: about $13,500 per year

Program length: one to four years, depending on which track you choose (60 credits total)

Graduation rate: 63%

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.orgt: 2
  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 9
  • Rank on 10

Oregon State University offers a bachelor of science in computer science that’s designed for students who have another bachelor’s degree in any field. You must already have a bachelor’s degree to enroll in the program.

OSU’s online computer science courses cover topics like:

  • Programming fundamentals
  • Software engineering
  • Computer systems and networking
  • Databases
  • Usability engineering
  • Mobile and web development

The program is designed to truly be completed at your own pace. If you can afford to be a full-time student, you may want to choose the one-year track and hustle through the program. For students with jobs, families, and other commitments, a two, three, or four-year track may be more appropriate.

You can only enroll in the one-year track as a full-time student. The website also has several warnings that the one-year track is intense, so bear that in mind.

Graduates of this program have gone on to work for companies like Intel, Garmin, Disney, Boeing, and Hewlitt Packard.

Here’s what OSU’s online computer science students and professors have to say about the program:

Online classes at OSU are designed to be interactive. To see what your classes could look like, check out this sampling of online courses:

Note: Some professors hold online office hours through video chats.

Fun fact: One student took OSU’s online computer science program while working on Google’s self-driving cars.

2. University of Florida

Image source: University of Florida

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $3,000 per year for online students
  • Out-of-state: about $10,000 per year for online students

Program length: 120 credits

Graduation rate: 87%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on 1
  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 5

Computer science doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The more intuitive your software and programming skills are, the more valuable they become. That’s why University of Florida’s online BS in computer science program includes courses in behavioral science, the humanities, and foreign languages.

While the program focuses on providing a strong foundation in computer science, your liberal arts electives can complement the skills you’re building along the way. As they put it, the program “encourages students to explore the theoretical foundations of information and computation with considerable freedom through the liberal arts.”

For more information on what kinds of courses are included in the program, you can consult this handy course list.

With 400,000 alumni around the world, networking opportunities are never far from University of Florida students—even if you’re studying online. There are more than 100 “Gator clubs” dispersed throughout the world, so no matter where you are, you can still connect with alumni and students.

Here’s what University of Florida Online says about connecting with fellow students:

“UF Online hosts a variety of activities to engage and connect with online students. We host regular events in Gainesville, like a tailgate at Homecoming, and events, like networking receptions, outside of Gainesville. Additionally, through Gator Clubs around the world you can interact with the Gator Nation. Online does not mean solitary as Florida Gators are known for being social creatures.”

3. Old Dominion University

Image source: Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $10,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $27,000 per year

Program length: 120 credits

Graduation rate: 51%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 5
  • Rank on 7

This is not an online degree program for the faint of heart. Old Dominion University cautions, “This degree’s rewards do not come without hard work and dedication. It is scientifically and mathematically intensive in order to produce qualified and talented graduates. The number of students lured by the promise and implied simplicity of the internet and computer games quickly find that they are not prepared for the level of rigor required to be successful.”

If you’re up for the challenge, ODU’s bachelor of science in computer science degree provides you with “a strong conceptual and demonstration-based curriculum founded with hands-on laboratory experiences.”

96% of online computer science students said they were very satisfied with their experience.

As an online student, you’ll have exams, papers, group work, presentations, and lab work. You can learn more about how each of these online assignments work.

This computer science curriculum could give you a better idea of what specifically the program includes. Only 30 of your credits have to come from ODU though, so you can transfer credits for most of these courses if you have them.

Here’s what they want you to know:

“In this online computer science degree program, you will be exposed to the broad theoretical basis as well as a strong laboratory component designed to help you understand how to apply your education to real world problems.”

4. Florida State University

Image source: Florida State University

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $6,500 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $22,000 per year

Program length: 120 credits (two years full-time, four years part-time)

Graduation rate: 80%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 3
  • Rank on 3
  • Rank on 6
  • Rank on 7
  • More awards and highlights

Florida State University’s online bachelor of science in computer science equips students to start a career in computing. Specifically, this program explores the overlap between programming and design.

Here’s how they describe the curriculum:

“It provides a systems view of computing, emphasizing the interdependence of design, object orientation, and distributed systems and networks, from basic software through systems design.”

Your core courses will cover materials like:

  • Programming
  • Database structure
  • Computer organization
  • Operating systems

Additionally, you’ll have opportunities to explore a variety of other computer science topics, including:

  • Information security
  • Data communication/networks
  • Computer and network systems administration
  • Theoretical computer science
  • Software engineering

There are many coding languages, and FSU will introduce you to 11 of them:

“Every student can expect to become proficient at programming in C, C++, and Assembly Language. Additionally, students will be exposed to other languages such as Java, C#, Ada, Lisp, Scheme, Prolog, Perl, and HTML.”

Fun fact: FSU has a transfer rate of 3%—the national average is more than ten times that. Couple that with their 80% graduation rate and odds are if you start your education here, you’ll end it here as well.

5. University of Illinois at Springfield

Image source: University of Illinois at Springfield Computer Science Department

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $11,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $21,000 per year

Program length: 120 credits

Graduation rate: 50%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 2
  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 7
  • Rank on 9

University of Illinois at Springfield offers an online bachelor of science in computer science. Before you can enroll in the program, you need at least two semesters of experience with Java, as well as one semester of calculus, discrete or finite math, and statistics. (You can take these courses at UIS.)

Here’s what they say about their online program:

“A concentration in computer science will familiarize students with the various areas of knowledge that make up the field. Students will develop a firm understanding of the fundamental skills and core theories of computer science which power the rapid technological change in the world today. Upon completion, a student with a bachelor of science will be prepared for graduate studies in computer science or studies in other fields that are strongly associated with computer science. Students in the bachelor’s degree program choose to emphasize software engineering or systems security and information assurance.”

6. Regis University

Image source: Regis University

Tuition cost: about $34,000 per year

Program length: 128–133 credits

Graduation rate: 68%


  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Computing Accreditation Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 5
  • Rank on 6

This is the only online BS in computer science program in the U.S. that’s accredited by ABET.

Regis University says their program will equip you to apply computer science to a wide range of fields. The program “empowers students to expertly design and implement computational solutions that tackle the world’s most challenging social, political, environmental, scientific, medical, economic, and business problems in a socially just manner.”

This versatile education starts with a solid grasp of computer science. Here’s what they say about the curriculum:

“An extensive focus on the theoretical foundations, possibilities, and limitations of computation provides students with the ability to model and craft efficient computational solutions to problems. As graduates are expected to be proficient software developers, the CS degree also provides the greatest breadth and depth of experience related to software development, which includes the ability to utilize multiple programming languages, paradigms, and platforms when implementing the computational solutions they design.”

At Regis University, you can earn your BS in computer science in tandem with a master of science from their College of Computer and Information Sciences. The combined BS/MS program is a total of 152 credit hours. (That’s a really good deal.)

You can also add an optional mathematics minor for 12 additional credits.

Learn more about Regis University’s perspective on computer science in this animated video:

7. Dakota State University

Image source: Dakota State University

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $9,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $12,000 per year

Program length: 120 credits

Graduation rate: 39%

Job placement rate: 92%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 6
  • Rank on 7
  • Rank on 8

Dakota State University wants its online computer science students to be fully prepared to enter the industry. Here’s what they say about their approach to CS:

“You don’t just learn to program when you study Computer Science; you master computers from their foundations to the very latest tools and applications. You can design and engineer solutions to solve today’s problems, and also the ever more complex and exciting opportunities arising as computers pervade our society. Just like the Internet was programmed by computer scientists, the Internet of Things will be programmed by computer scientists! Computer Science empowers you with the tools, knowledge, and vision to build systems and applications enriching whatever domains interest you.”

In light of that philosophy, here’s how their program actually helps you do that:

“The computer science program is at the heart of DSU’s mission to integrate technology. We focus on giving our students access to the latest software and hardware technologies—and giving you a headstart on the job market. . . . Students have access to DSUnix, student-administered systems using Linux, Irix, Solaris, or Windows. The Information Assurance Lab provides networking, security, and anti-hacking tools.”

All DSU computer science professors have a PhD in computer science.

Interestingly, the transfer rate at Dakota State University is 39%—the same as their graduation rate. DSU students are just as likely to transfer to another school as they are to graduate. Since four other schools on this list are also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, you should have no problem transferring your credits to another great school.

Fun fact: Online courses are often scheduled at the same time as on-campus courses. Faculty often bring online and on-campus students together through collaborative projects.

Note: You may need to confirm that the BS in computer science is available online in your state.

8. Brigham Young University-Idaho

Image source: Brigham-Young University-Idaho

Tuition cost: about $4,000 per year

Program length: 120 credits

Graduation rate: 56%

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 4
  • Rank on 6

Brigham Young University-Idaho offers an online BS in software engineering. The program is technically not fully online, as you can see in the admissions requirements.

Before you get into one of their online programs, you need to complete 15 credits from a Church Educational System institution (such as the BYU campus in Utah, Hawaii, or Idaho, or at the LDS Business College), or, alternatively, you can complete the year-long PathwayConnect program, which is a mix of online and in-person courses taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Once you’re in, here’s what they say about the program:

“In this online program at BYU-Idaho, students will learn and practice the industry standard approach to design, development and implementation of complex computer systems. This degree is designed for students who want a strong background in software development coupled with additional studies in other areas.”

You have 26 elective credits, but only 12 are available for you to explore other subjects that interest you.

Note: You have up to eight years to complete this program.

9. Colorado Technical University

Image source: The EDU Center

Tuition cost: about $60,000 total

Program length: 183

Graduation rate: 20%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 1
  • Other awards

Colorado Technical University offers an online bachelor of science in computer science.

Here’s what they say about it:

“In addition to important undergraduate foundation studies, the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree provides you with the opportunity to learn computer programming languages, computer network systems and software engineering skills. The systems security and project management components of this degree are designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop industry-relevant skill sets.”

You can see a complete course list on their website to get a feel for what exactly you’ll be learning. At the time we wrote this post, it’s unclear what the 44 credit hours in the BSCSELE section can be used on.

This is the longest program on our list, so it might not be surprising to see that CTU also has the lowest graduation rate on this list. Only 20% of CTU’s online BS in computer science students complete the program within 150% of the “normal time.” It’s not clear if the normal time for a 180+ credit program is still just four years, but you should expect that if you dive into this program, you’re going to be here a while.

10. Fort Hays State University

Image source: Fort Hays State University

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $5,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $15,000 per year

Program length: 120 credit hours

Graduation rate: 37%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on 5
  • Rank on 10

Fort Hays State University offers an online bachelor of science in computer science. The 120-credit program includes a 24 credit emphasis. To help you craft your degree to fit your career path, you can choose an emphasis in either business or networking.

The business emphasis gives you a background in accounting, management, marketing, finance, and economics. This could be a good fit if you want to use computer science to climb the ranks in the corporate world upon graduating.

The networking emphasis covers internetworking, network architecture and data communications, routing, LAN switching, and troubleshooting.

Here’s what they say about the program as a whole:

“FHSU online Computer Science curriculum is designed to help you develop analytical problem-solving technical skills. Upon graduation, you will be ready to create software applications to efficiently solve complex, real-world problems.”

Note: With a graduation rate of 37% and a transfer-out rate of 33% (which is on par with the national average), you’re almost as likely to transfer away from this school as you are to graduate from it.

A quick note on transferring schools

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, more than one third of all college students transfer schools before graduating. In order to transfer your credits from one school to another, the two schools usually have to be accredited by the same organizations. Thankfully, five schools on this list are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, three are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and two are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities—so if you decide to transfer, there are plenty of great schools that will still accept your credits.

The best school is really up to you

We can’t tell you exactly which school is the best choice for you—and you shouldn’t let anyone else do that, either. You have to weigh the factors that are most important to you and let that guide your decision. Choosing a school is a huge investment—both in terms of what it immediately costs you and how it affects your life. So take your time.

We hope this list has helped make the decision a little easier for you. Good luck in your future studies!

Ryan Nelson
Ryan has a B.A. in English Literature from Western Washington University. If he could rewind and go to college all over again, he'd do it a little differently. For now, he's living vicariously through people like you by helping you find the best online schools for your field.

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